Innovation Agency reinvents itself for multi-sector integration

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN) - As it seeks to facilitate the country’s move towards an innovative economy, the National Innovation Agency (NIA) is also disrupting its own structure.

The Innovation Granting Agency under the NIA is undergoing transformation into the National Innovation System Integrator, and is tasked with facilitating and driving the private sector, government, universities and social enterprises to move together towards an innovation society and innovative economy.

The agency also aims to develop 3,000 innovation companies in the country within the next 10 years.
Pun-Arj Chairatana, the NIA’s executive director, says the agency has transformed itself into an innovation system integrator so that it could facilitate the participation of multiple sectors driving towards an innovation-based economic and social ecosystem.
In the role of a systems integrator, the agency hopes to push for the emergence of an innovation society and innovative economy via four main areas. The first is to develop at least 3,000 innovation companies in the country. The second is to develop the Innovation Foresight Institute in order to drive innovation and technology trends in the country. The third is to create new mechanisms and new opportunities nationwide for an innovation society and innovative economy. Lastly, the agency is also setting up a diplomatic programme in order to create opportunities and invite both local and international ventures to invest in innovation companies.
The agency also expects that by the end of this year, business and venture capital will inject more than Bt3.5 billion into innovation companies via its direct contact. 
The agency will also focus this year on supporting deep innovation technology in three areas – health-tech, agri-tech and food-tech.
Moreover, the agency is launching a promotional campaign to support Thai entrepreneurs and startups through the new “Groom Grant Growth” package. It aims to increase the potential of Thai entrepreneurs and startups in both economic and social innovation businesses.
The agency will provide grants of between Bt1.5 million and Bt5 million to support entrepreneurs and startups in six areas – healthcare innovation, food innovation, herbal innovation designed for chronic non-communicable diseases, national defence industry innovation for security and civil affairs, travel innovation, and smart logistics innovation/manufacturing industry that uses IoT technology. 
“The NIA has plans and guidelines to support the needs of entrepreneurs and startups so that we will be able to increase their opportunities,” said Pun-Arj.
“This is another important opportunity that will facilitate the innovation ability of entrepreneurs and startups so that they can reach their goals faster.” 

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